With my foray into the blogosphere, I quickly discovered my need for a quality camera. With this in mind, and after my first less than stellar camera purchase, I turned to other blogs that had pictures I truly liked. One of them, Kitchen Wench, suggested the Canon Powershot G7, a point and shoot camera with some very serious custom setting features. After doing some additional research on this model, I found it would be the best one to suit my needs. I purchased the camera and it was shipped last Tuesday. Imagine my surprise to find a delivery attempt notice on my door two days later. The notice was very vague, not giving me any instructions as to what I should do next. So I signed the notice, checking the box that said it was fine to leave the package at my doorstep.
The next day, breathless with anticipation, I came home…to no package. However, the notice was conspicuously absent. Fearing I may have been the victim of a package-napping, I called the post office “customer service” line and was told the carrier probably didn’t have the package with him that day and would deliver it on Saturday. Well, boys and girls, guess what I came home to on Saturday after a day out with friends? Anyone? Anyone? If you said “no package”, give yourself a cookie. So again, I called USPS’s customer service line and I was told that, no I would have to wait until Monday for a redelivery. By this time, I was getting just a little bit annoyed, but I put my faith in the postal service and anxiously waited until Monday.
Since I have a tango class on Monday nights, I asked my landlord to check and see if a package was on my doorstep. When he called to say there was, yet again, no !%@$&@!#$@ package, I called the @$%#$%&^$%#&^%*@&^% USPS customer service line…AGAIN! For once, I finally got a semi-intelligent person on the other line and was told since the package is insured, it cannot be left without a signature. I would have to make my way to the Northeast DC processing center to get my camera. I spoke with a supervisor at the processing center (again a very helpful USPS employee…a rarity I soon discovered) and he assured me the package would be waiting for me at the center. He even gave me fairly useful directions to the center. So with this information in mind, I enlisted a co-worker to tag along with me to Northeast DC.
The center is located in a less than ideal part of DC, so I wasn’t surprised to see a heavy amount of loitering and beer bottles littering the ground. I was, however, surprised at how well guarded the processing center was from the metro station. In fact, a VERY long fence enclosed a majority of the center, forcing me and my companion to trek almost to Maryland to get to the entrance. Once we finally made it to the door and got in line, the full stereotypical government employee experience began (and this is coming from a government employee).
Once at the front of the line, I told the clerk I was there to pick up a package. Without missing a beat, she pointed me to the mythical blue door around the corner. She instructed me to ring the doorbell near said door and wait for an attendant. I did as instructed…and proceeded to wait a good 15 minutes for anyone to respond. By the time the door was opened (and after a lot of doorbell ringing), a total of four people were in line. Even worse, the door was answered by a lady who I am almost positive was old enough to have been Shakespeare’s transcriptionist. I wasn’t sure how this woman was going to pick up a piece of paper, let alone the package holding my camera. Since I wasn’t the first in line, I waited patiently while she asked the guy in front of me to describe his package. I didn’t realize we needed a sketch artist’s rendering of our packages to get them. By this time, I was fairly steamed, so when I finally got to the front of the line, my fuse was pretty short. When Methuselah asked me what my package looked like, I had had it. I told her it looked like a box, which didn’t go over to well with her. She trudged along to the back and I waited…and waited…and waited. When she finally returned, she informed me my package was on the other side of the processing center and I’d have to call a number to have the package brought over to the customer service area. My first thought: why do I have to go find a phone to call for my package when you are literally an eyelash length away from a phone yourself? My second thought: I shouldn’t assault old people. With the last shred of civility in my body, I went over to the phone and called for my package. I was told it would be a few minutes and to wait at this all important blue door.
About five minutes later, the aforementioned helpful supervisor came to the door. He had a piece of paper with notes from our previous day’s conversation…but no !@#$%^&* package. That’s when he informed me he had placed my package right next to the area behind the blue door with a note informing the carrier I would be picking it up at the processing center. But apparently my carrier is illiterate, as he took it out to be delivered. The supervisor obviously sensed my impending rampage and offset it by allowing me to sign for the package at the processing center. The carrier was allegedly told to leave the package at my doorstep and the supervisor apologized profusely. As I was walking back to the metro (did I mention we had to climb down a high pile of rocks to get back to the metro station), all I could think is “Now I see why Michael Douglas flipped in ‘Falling Down'”. But just as the nice postal supervisor promised, my package was in fact at my doorstep that evening.
Hopefully the near arrest on murder charges translate into great photographic evidence of my adventures in Shaw. In the coming weeks, I will (hopefully with a little help from my blog friends) become more familiar with the camera settings in order to capture the best pictures possible. So be patient as I’m still in a photography learning curve. But in the meantime, here’s the blog debut of the Diva as an example of my new Canon Powershot G7.
One response to “Adventures in…Post Office Hell”
Wow . . . quite an adventure to go through for the sake of a camera. That camera better be good to you!